© Ella Ling

Venus Williams - Miami 2012 - 3

10 thoughts on Madrid's blue clay


10 thoughts on Madrid’s blue clay. Talk of the town here in Madrid, has, of course, been the blue clay. Here are a few differing opinions from the players…

1. Milos Raonic thinks it’s low-bouncing. “Hitting on the Smurf clay, the bounce is lower and the 2 courts I practiced on were a bit more slippery than usual,” he tweeted.

2. Venus Williams wishes it had been her idea.  “I think it’s really in, bright colors are in. I wish I thought of it myself. I think it’s a good idea,” she said.

3. Petra Kvitova likes it because it matches her eyes. “I like the blue, it’s cool,” she said. Julia Goerges also used the word ‘cool.’ But caveated it with ‘strange.’

4. Li Na is worried her blue shoes will get lost on it. “No one will see the feet,” she said.

5. Serena Williams thinks it’s a waste of time.  “No one likes it. I’m on the council, we all voted against it. It’s interesting to see that they just did what they wanted. I just wish they hadn’t asked us and wasted our time.”

6.  Lisa Raymond reckons it makes her feel at home. “Loving the blue courts in Madrid -or maybe I just love thinking I’m on a hard court!”

7.    Svetlana Kuznetsova correctly identified it’s going to play havoc with the poor tournament transport cars… “This is where all clay stays))) pic.twitter.com/RK8seYiU”, she tweeted.

8.  It’s not just a gimmick. Tournament director Ion Tiriac believes it really does improve visibility of the ball, for players, and on TV. “For the players on the court, it’s about a 22 per cent improvement,” he told the New York Times. “For the television viewer, it’s even more: about 27 percent. But we didn’t come in overnight and just do a gimmick for decoration. No, no, we worked almost about five years on it.”

9.  It’s more complicated to make than red clay, and thus is not cheap. Check out this video of the blue clay being made.

10.    Rafa is yet to have his say. Be prepared.

So what do you think? One off, or here to stay? Either way, it’s certainly got a lot of people talking.